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News 2007: More BTCC Points for Motorbase Performance

Rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, Oulton Park

Motorbase Performance drivers Matt Allison and Gareth Howell both came away from rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the 2007 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Oulton Park, Cheshire having added to their championship points tally.

Gareth HowellNorwich's Matt Allison ended a run of frustrating recent results with two top-ten finishes while Beckenham racer Gareth Howell was running strongly until a heavy crash in race two brought his weekend to an early close.

After qualifying, Howell and Allison lined up 11th and 12th respectively on the grid for Sunday's first race. There was drama from the outset as Howell pitted after his outlap with a broken driveshaft, which the team impressively replaced in time for him to start the race from the pitlane. The 26 year-old quickly picked off the backmarkers and would ultimately finish the race in tenth position to pick up a valuable championship point.

Allison's race started well and he was running comfortably in 11th position with just a couple of laps remaining. However, drama unfolded in front of reigning British GTC champion. Tom Onslow-Cole and Adam Jones collided and Jones ended up bouncing across the grass before his damaged car deposited radiator fluid on the track. Unfortunately for Allison, he was first on the scene and was helpless as his Toledo skidded across the slippery surface before continuing straight on into the tyre barrier, extensively damaging the front end.

Matt AllisonRace two brought distinctly different fortunes for the Motorbase Performance drivers. For Allison, it started from the pitlane in a move intended to avoid any early race shenanigans from those around him on the grid. It turned out to be an inspired decision as a four-car pile up at the first corner left some very wounded metal strewn around the track. It meant Allison was up to 12 th position by the time the safety car picked up the pack at the end of the lap. A strong performance in the second half of the race saw cross the line tenth.

Howell also avoided the first lap dramas and was in seventh spot behind the safety car. The wet track made the restart a risky affair and Howell just put a wheel off the racing line going through the first corner, but it was enough to send him off on to the grass and he was helpless as the Toledo landed sideways in the tyre barrier. The SEAT was heavily damaged, leaving Howell with no chance of contesting the final race of the weekend.

Allison started race three from tenth position, but was up to sixth by the end of the opening lap after successfully negotiating his way through a number of early incidents. The same incidents brought the safety car out on track again, after which Allison found himself defending from the works Vauxhall of Tom Chilton. The pair battled for a couple of laps, but Allison was eventually forced to cede the spot, but went on to finish eighth and score more championship points.

Gareth Howell / Matt AllisonMatt Allison said, "After the first race I thought the bad luck from last time was following me. We chose to start the second race from the pitlane, which proved a good decision. The accident involved everyone who would have been around us on the grid, so we did well to stay out of it. It's been a positive weekend though. The boys did a great job getting the car ready again – they're first class.

"We've worked hard with the engineers and we've got a good race balance now. It's good to get back on the points board again and hopefully we can get among the big boys in the second half of the season."

Rounds 16, 17 & 18 of the 2007 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship take place at Donington Park, Leicestershire over the weekend of 14/15 July.

Race results (provisional)

Round 13
1. Gordon Shedden (Honda Civic)
2. Fabrizio Giovanardi (Vauxhall Vectra)
3. Colin Turkington (BMW 320si E90)
4. Matt Neal (Honda Civic)
5. Mat Jackson (BMW 320si E90)
10. Gareth Howell (SEAT Toledo Cupra)
DNF Matt Allison (SEAT Toledo Cupra)

Round 14
1. Colin Turkington (BMW 320si E90)
2. Fabrizio Giovanardi (Vauxhall Vectra)
3. Mike Jordan (Honda Integra)
4. Matt Neal (Honda Civic)
5. Jason Plato (SEAT Leon)
10. Matt Allison (SEAT Toledo Cupra)
DNF Gareth Howell (SEAT Toledo Cupra)

Round 15
1. Mat Jackson (BMW 320si E90)
2. Jason Plato (SEAT Leon)
3. Darren Turner (SEAT Leon)
4. Gordon Shedden (Honda Civic)
5. Adam Jones (SEAT Toledo Cupra)
8. Matt Allison (SEAT Toledo Cupra)
DNS Gareth Howell (SEAT Toledo Cupra)

All images courtesy of Peter Still Photographic